The deal between Orange and Apple to distribute the iPhone in France could be sunk by a legal problem.

Apple revealed its network partners for the UK and Germany in September, but news of a French deal wasn't officially revealed - despite the Apple Expo show which took place in Paris last month.

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According to French newspaper Les Echos, a local French consumer-friendly law may be the biggest barrier to an exclusive tie-up between the two firms.

The law "would require the iPhone to be sold both with and without contracts, undermining its exclusivity for Orange and Apple's demand of up to 30 percent of voice and data revenues", the report (as translated by MarketWatch).

Full details: Apple's UK iPhone release